Did anyone else go a tad overboard last (Easter) weekend? I don’t know about you but every year the same thing happens to me – post Christmas I will pull myself together and jump back on the healthy lifestyle train and all goes swimmingly, bar the sugar aspect. Pushing my sugar addiction away just seems to take so much longer than every other change I make. By the end of March I finally feel like I have shaken off the sugar changes and I’m feeling awesome, but then Easter rolls around… Every year I try to stay well away from the Easter indulgences but when it comes down to it, Easter is a big family event for us. There are lots of eggs, desserts and relaxing. Now don’t get me wrong I love this time and relish in resting, recharging, and bonding with family but I do always come out the other side feeling a little bit…bleugh! So this morning I set my alarm super early for a new week aka – a fresh start! For me this means getting over the sugar hangover and giving my body a wee detox.
Here are my top tips for kicking sugar to the kurb..
1. Sugar Detox Supplements
While of course not absolutely necessary, these give you a huge leg up when going cold turkey. The Viridian Sugar Detox has been my top pick since it was released at Christmas time and I can honestly say after 7 days you really can feel the difference. The detox consists essentially of:
- Cinnamon – Can help to regulate blood sugar to prevent spikes, crashes, and cravings.
- Chromium – Helps to prevent blood sugar from spiking after meals, curbs cravings, combats insulin resistance.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid – Could help people to use their own insulin to lower blood sugar
2. Swap Sweet for Savoury
If, like me, you usually start the day with a breakfast of porridge, fruit, or cereal, try to get into the habit of having something savoury first thing in the morning. Starting savoury could help to keep your blood sugars more stable and prevent you from craving sweet food later. Some great ideas include eggs, smoked salmon, homemade baked beans, quinoa bowl, smashed avocado on toast etc.
3. Get Those Healthy Fats in!
Fats can help you feel satiated for longer and keep your blood sugars stable. Try to incorporate a portion of healthy fats into each of your meals. This could be half an avocado, a tablespoon of olive oil, some oily fish, whole egg etc.
Often we crave sugar and carbohydrate when we are feeling tired, low, or grumpy. This is due to the levels of endorphins in our brains dropping. Exercise however can increase our endorphin levels dramatically. Far more, in fact, than any sugary or fatty food. Try getting into a regular routine of doing a physical activity that you truly enjoy. Bonus points if it’s a social sport. Why not grab a pal and go for a fast-paced walk or swim? Not only will you feel great but you’ll really notice a new spring in your step!
Things I wish I knew before I gave up sugar the first time that really helped me this time around….
1. Sleep Can Get Tricky
Sugar is a horrible drug and just like anything, can affect your whole routine when cut out suddenly. This is not a common side effect but your sleeping pattern may be altered slightly for a couple of days. Pick up a sleep aid like Melissa Dream, Valerian Root or the Celestial Sleepy time tea to give you a helping hand.
2. Disorientation and Lethargy.
I mean, this side effect just goes to show how bad sugar really is. Have you ever felt light headed and exhausted from cutting out veg? Nope…. Make sure you are eating tons of colourful veggies, a substantial amount of protein, complex carbohydrates, and worst comes to worst – pick up a banana and pop some healthy fats on top like nut butter. This is inevitable but I promise if you power through it will go after a week or so.
3. You Can Think of Nothing but Your Cravings.
This is where the sugar detox supplements really come in handy. If you don’t fancy picking them up, then try and get plenty of good quality cinnamon into your diet wherever possible. Sprinkle into your coffee, curries, chilis, plain natural yoghurt and more.
4. You Will Feel Liberated and Fantastic.
Once you push past that first hurdle, the cravings subside, the sugar spikes diminish, hormones re-balance and sleep becomes more fulfilling. Don’t feel as though you can never touch a sweet food again for the rest of your life. This is simply not the case. This detox is purely to help move your body away from a sugar dependency. We are all human at the end of the day and we all deserve a treat now and then; the key is balance!